1851–1920
portrait

June 28, 1851, Phil­a­del­phia, Penn­syl­vania.

April 24, 1920, Phil­a­del­phia, Penn­syl­van­ia.

Wood­lands Cem­e­te­ry, Phil­a­del­phia, Penn­syl­van­ia.

Lid­ie H. Ed­munds.

portrait

Eliza was the daugh­ter of James S. Hew­itt and Ze­ru­i­ah Ed­munds.

After grad­u­at­ing from school, she be­gan teach­ing, but her ca­reer was cut short by a ser­i­ous spin­al prob­lem. She par­tial­ly re­cov­ered, but was an in­va­lid most of her life. She then turned to hymn writ­ing, which ran in the fam­i­ly—her cous­in was hym­nist Ed­gar Stites.

Eliza lived all her life in Phil­a­del­phia, where she was Sun­day School su­per­in­tend­ent at the North­ern Home for Friend­less Child­ren, and later at the Cal­vin Pres­by­ter­i­an Church. She was al­so a reg­u­lar con­trib­ut­or to Sun­day-School Helps.

Eliza wrote this trib­ute to Fan­ny Cros­by in 1905:

The friends are forming a garland,
Fragrant and lovely and sweet,
The roses and lilacs of friendship,
To lay at our loved one’s feet.

And while the fair chaplet they’re twining,
May I bring a little flower,
A forget-me-not, meek and lowly;
To add to the joys of the hour?

This love-wreath is for our dear Fanny,
Whose heart is so young and so true,
No wonder her songs, freely gushing,
Are as fresh as the morning dew!

They sparkle with Spring’s happy sunshine,
They ripple like streams of delight,
They flow from the rocks of the mountain,
They touch us with love’s tender might.

Because she sings of her Saviour,
And His spirit tunes her lyre,
Her work shall go on forever,
And she has been called up higher.

So we’ll gather round our Fanny,
With smiles and greetings sincere;
May she have just the sweetest birthday
She has had for many a year.

Then we’ll all be happy with her,
And thank the dear Lord above,
For sending us one of His angels
To sing to us of His love.

O friend beloved, with joy again
We hail thy natal day,
Which brings you one year nearer home,
Rejoicing on the way.

How fast the years are rolling on—
We cannot stay their flight;
The summer sun is going down,
And soon will come the night.

But you, dear friend, need fear no ill,
Your path shines bright and clear;
You know the Way, the Truth, the Life,
To you He’s ever near.

And when you pass from time away
To meet your Lord and King,
In heaven you’ll meet ten thousand souls,
That you have taught to sing.

A few more years to sing the song
Of our Re­deem­er’s love;
Then by His grace both you and I
Shall sing His praise above.